Attack Damage Carry is a role that relies heavily on dealing consistent but significant damage over a large period. This earns them the title of ‘Carry’ because they are the ones responsible for killing the enemy using their continuous DPS.
ADCs need to survive and deal consistent damage from maximum range, in that order respectively. They position themselves in the backline and stick with their teammates so that they can be peeled for. They must also dodge and land skillshots to get maximum value out of their damage.
ADCs carry the massive responsibility of carrying their team in teamfights by outputting enough damage to turn the tides of the battle. This requires a lot of awareness and careful positioning. We will take a look at the various elements that play a part in teamfighting as an ADC.
If the job of an ADC must be simplified into one sentence, it would simply be “Survive and Deal Damage”. It sounds much simpler than it actually is. The most important job an ADC player has in a teamfight is surviving.
While it is important for ADCs to be the consistent source of damage for their team, it is impossible to achieve if they die before the fight is over. Therefore, surviving is a higher priority than dealing damage for ADCs.
ADC, as the name implies, is the carry role on any team. ADCs will be the target of every dive and every assassination attempt. While their teammates must try their best to peel for them, the responsibility falls on the ADC player themself to play safe and survive. This is done by using your summoner spells smartly and saving your escape abilities. We will discuss how to increase your rate of survival in later segments.
Target Priority is a massive point of confusion in lower elo. ADC champions are extremely squishy and can not afford to be present among the enemy champions, or they will get killed in an instant. This means that they must stay at maximum range and hit whatever target they are able to hit.
For the most part, this will be the enemy team’s frontline. Chances are, you can’t get in range to hit the enemy carries so simply auto attacking the enemy tanks and bruisers is the correct choice. Most of the time, dealing consistent damage to whatever target is available is much better than waiting for the mess to clear and then attacking the enemy carry champions.
Try to stay as far away as possible from the threat range of enemy champions and consistently deal damage to whatever target you can hit with your maximum range. You are the one that can burn through the frontline and once that beefy wall is gone, you can move on and target the enemy squishy champions.
The two points mentioned above are impossible to achieve if your movement is lacking. Kiting or orb walking refers to the act of hitting your opponent and moving between the attack animations to maximize your APM. Kiting lets you cover distance and continuously deal damage while maintaining distance from your enemies.
Kiting is an essential mechanic for ADCs because it allows you to maximize the amount of time that you remain outside threat range. As you are continuously attacking, the enemy will slowly get whittled down and will either have to give up chase or die.
Some ADC champions carry self-peeling tools in their kit and require them to escape in case the enemy team collapses on them. These abilities usually have very long cooldowns and must be used with utmost care if an ADC player wants to survive in a teamfight.
A great example would be Ezreal’s E. Ezreal players run flash and have another blink built into their champion’s kit. This means that they can spam their Q from maximum range and if someone tries to dive them, they can buffer their E away to escape. In case an enemy champion decides to commit everything to take down the Ezreal, they can flash away.
However, if the same Ezreal player E’s forward without an escape planned then they will have no choice but to burn their flash whenever they get collapsed on. This means that the enemy can follow their flash and finish them off, thus rendering any escape tools useless. This is why ADC players must be very careful when choosing to use their escape abilities and summoner spells.
There are two kinds of cooldowns that ADC players must keep track of if they want to maximize their aggressiveness. The first kind is Crowd Control abilities. These abilities can lock you down and since you are fairly squishy, you will get burst down in a matter of seconds.
The other kind is burst damage abilities. A lot of champions don’t have power equally distributed among the different abilities in their kit. This means that they will save the abilities that are loaded with damage to burst down a target with it. As an ADC player, your job is to avoid these abilities or wait for them to be used before you decide to play aggressively.
An example would be how Malphite ultimate is feared by a lot of ADC champions and they tend to save their flash and anticipate it to come out sooner or later. They are on their toes until it is used and once it is thrown at them, they dodge it and then start playing aggressively because the threat level suddenly drops.
Positioning is more important for ADCs than any other role in the game. ADCs are marksmen champions that tend to outrange most champions with their auto attack range. This allows them to dish out continuous damage from the maximum range without putting themselves in danger. So they must utilize this by positioning themselves as safe as possible.
ADCs belong in the backline behind most, if not all, other allies. This allows them to utilize their range well and be secured by their allies that form a wall in front of them. This cuts the enemy’s approach to them from the front. However, they must still be wary of threats from the side and from behind.
Stay Close To Allies
During teamfights, it is of utmost importance that ADCs do not isolate themselves and stay as close to their team as possible. Of course, this is not a rule and has a fair amount of exceptions to it. When you fear that your team might be in the range of an Orianna Shockwave, for example, you would want to stay away from them while still remaining in your DPS range.
Staying in close range of your allies allows them to peel for you if the enemy team tries to dive you. It also allows you to outnumber the opponent and kill them faster if you and your teammates turn your attention to them. Your teammates can also block skillshots for you if you are close enough to them.
While everything mentioned above will help you become better at understanding your role in a teamfight, executing it is a different matter. In order to perform well as an ADC, you must perform well mechanically. This means that you must work to improve your APM so you can kite better and minimize your reaction time so you can use your abilities and summoner spells to save your life.
Hitting and dodging skillshots is the fundamental difference between good and bad mechanics. If you have good positioning but still get hit by every skillshot, you will easily be killed by the enemy. Make sure you move in an unpredictable pattern and be constantly aware of your periphery so you can see the skillshots headed your way and dodge them.
ADC is an extremely demanding role that requires you to take responsibility for carrying your team. Their team is banking their damage on the ADC’s ability to survive and consistently dish out damage in order to win teamfights. All of this requires clean mechanics and good reaction times and presents a very high skill ceiling.